Punjab's Cooperation Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa today said that there is no move or intention on the part of the Punjab State Agriculture Bank (PADB) to sell the land of farmers to recover its dues.
In a press statement here today, the minister said that "there is no move or intention on the part of the PADB to sell the land of the farmers to recover its dues." The minister hit out at opposition Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), which had asked its party's rank and file "to vehemently oppose any attempt by the Congress government to sell off land of thousands of indebted farmers.." He said when SAD, which claims to be the champion of the farmers' cause and were "shedding crocodile tears just for political mileage", legal notices to sell land and arbitration proceedings were initiated against defaulters.
"As on 31.01.2016, before this (Congress) government took over, sale action was already underway against 30794 defaulter farmers and arbitration proceedings to secure arrest warrants of defaulters were initiated against 41745 defaulter farmers," he said.
Land of not a single farmer has been sold by the bank since March-2017 (when Cong came to power), he said.
Randhawa, however, said that initiating legal action against the defaulters is a routine banking practice across all the banks and this bank has also been following it and sending notices to defaulters for recovery, which does not mean that bank eventually intends to sell their land.
He further said that the bank primarily effects recovery by way of persuasion and never harasses a farmer in distress.
He said that the Congress government is committed to watch the interests of marginal and small farmers but legal action as per law will definitely be taken against the wilful, big and influential farmers who do not repay their loans in spite of having the capacity to repay.
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